Iran calls US military threats repetitive, hollow

Tehran : Iranian Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan said on Thursday that US threats to revert to a military option in case of failure to reach a nuclear agreement were repetitive and hollow.

Dehghan’s remarks were in response to statements by US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in a television interview in which he said “the military option certainly will remain on the table” if the US, Iran and the five other nations involved in the nuclear talks fail to strike a deal, Efe news agency reported.

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“The military option certainly will remain on the table. One of my jobs is to make sure all options are on the table,” said Carter on NBC’s “Today” programme.

According to the Iranian minister, Carter’s statements, oft-repeated by US officials, were aimed at “influencing the rational atmosphere” prevailing in the talks in Switzerland at a “sensitive and complicated time”, the official news agency IRNA said.

“These remarks confirm Iran’s right not to trust the United States and will surely have no effect on Iran’s rational, just and well-founded stances with respect to the nuclear issue,” he added.

Dehghan said Iran “is always and under any condition ready to counter any hostile threat posed by aggressors and will give a decisive response in the field of action”.

Iran and the P5+1 — the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany — have been locked in negotiations to reach an agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme after the original Tuesday deadline was extended to Thursday.